REVOCATION - Juan Manuel Nitz Galán, VATSIM Bolivia Events & RRPP Director

Dear VATSIM members

I am writing to you to communicate a situation that I consider of the utmost importance and that affects both my person and the fundamental principles of our community.

Recently, I have been revoked from my position as Director of Events and Public Relations of VATSIM Bolivia. This decision has been taken unfairly and without giving me the opportunity to respond or defend myself adequately. I would like to share with you my perspective on this matter and clarify some relevant points.

One of the reasons I have been given for this revocation is my open-minded and critical approach to debate. I have always considered the exchange of ideas and constructive analysis to be fundamental pillars for the development of any organisation. I strongly believe in the importance of transparency, honesty and continuous improvement in all our activities. My intention has been to promote a working environment in which we can question and discuss in a respectful manner, always with the aim of strengthening our processes and offering a quality service to our community.

Unfortunately, this stance has been misinterpreted by some members of the VATSIM Bolivia Staff, who have constantly harassed me because of my critical thinking and my desire to promote the fulfilment of our roles as a team. Instead of seeing my contributions as an opportunity to grow and improve, they have been perceived as a threat or a nuisance. This has created an environment that is not conducive to constructive debate and has led to a hasty and unfavourable decision for me.

I want to make it clear that my intention has never been to generate unnecessary discord or disagreement. My aim has been and always will be to work as a team for the benefit of our subdivision and each of its members. I strongly believe in the importance of listening to different perspectives, coming up with innovative ideas and ensuring that our actions are in line with our guiding principles and values.

I urge all VATSIM members to reflect on the importance of open and respectful dialogue in our environment. We must be able to accept diverse opinions, learn from them and find joint solutions that allow us to move forward as a community. Constructive criticism should not be seen as a threat, but as an opportunity to grow and strengthen ourselves.

I thank those members of VATSIM Bolivia and VATSIM who have supported my work and recognize the importance of debate consistent with the functions of Staff. Your support and understanding have been fundamental for me.

Finally, I want to express my wish that VATSIM is an inclusive and open community, where all members feel valued and can actively contribute to the growth and success of our community.

I thank you for your attention and appreciate any consideration you can give to this situation.

Yours sincerely

Juan Manuel Nitz Galán

Have you contacted Divisional or Regional Staff to clear up this situation? Taking it to a public forum might not be the best way, at least until you have exhausted other paths of conflict resolution.

Vice President, Americas Region VATGOV3
Vice President, Conflict Resolution VATGOV10

The fact that it was a decision of the Director of VATSIM Bolivia, together with the Director of VATSUR with the endorsement of VATSIM Americas is the reason why I brought it to a public arena. Especially because I am a person who is totally open to dialogue and who values freedom of expression and opinions.
All the more considered to do so after the official VATSIM Facebook group deleted a post of mine, the content of which was the same as the one I posted above. A clear violation of freedom of expression, precisely to a post that incites the opposite.
Considering, personally, that indifference is silent support for injustice. I believe it is necessary to make it known that my voice is being silenced, as well as how many users of this community.

First of all, VATSIM and its communication channels are a private organization, they can do what they like. They allow the content that they wish to allow.

Obviously, there are always two sides to the story and nobody gets suspended lightly, especially if regional and divisional staff are included. You did not share any details of what really happened, from your point of view and we do not know anything from the other side. It is hard to judge who is right or who is wrong.

The best way to go ahead for you now is to call the VP Conflict Resolution and get the dialogue going.

Thank you for your reply. But let me be discerning.
Although VATSIM is a private organisation, it is meant for the public, and as two of its mottos say, educate and communicate. They should respect their motto in that sense. Logically in a civilised environment and in a framework of mutual respect. If a content is written with a respectful conduct and without breaking any article of their code of conduct or regulations, simply removing a publication, just because in its comments there is criticism of its administrators, is seen by the public as a restrictive action towards one of the basic human rights, the freedom of expression under a civilised conduct and in the framework of respect between individuals, as it was the case.
Obviously, as in any exchange of views, there are two sides to the story, as you say. If you need any particular detail of my case, logically from my point of view, is that I am being applied a punitive punishment for having denounced segregation by members of the Staff of VATSIM Bolivia, something that is prohibited, even by the letter of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of the United Nations. Of this I informed the Director of VATSIM Americas, the Director of VATSUR and the Director of VATSIM Bolivia (the newly appointed Deputy Director of VATSUR). All the evidence of this that I said above I sent at the time, by mail, to the Director of VATSIM Americas.
I clarify that my nationality is Argentinian, and I was a volunteer for VATSIM Bolivia, so that you understand the context.
Obviously, I need you, or anyone who reads my words, to understand the seriousness of the matter, and how painful it is to suffer this kind of behaviour towards me, especially in these times.
Clearly I am open to any kind of dialogue, and any help I can get from you, or from anyone on the conflict resolution team, or from anyone else who is even minimally impartial on these issues, would be particularly fair, in my case. And it would help the good faith of users towards the network, as well as showing credibility to them as an organisation, in the face of events of this gravity.

I cannot do anything. I do not know you or anyone involved with this.

Again: VATSIM is a private organization, we are all just guests and if someone decides to kick someone out, it just happens. There is some kind of process that has to be followed, for most cases.

Your only way is to call upon the Conflict Resolution department.

I understand what you say, I thank you for your response.
I am left with the excellent behavior that I have shown in my role and especially with the support in this situation of the vast majority of members of VATSIM Bolivia, since my good work has always been and will always be for their benefit. And they recognize me as someone who contributed something that was never contributed in VATSIM Bolivia. Because of the way I am, I am someone who rarely seeks anything less than excellence, even in a volunteer environment.
I very much appreciate your time in at least lending yourself to the discussion and I will address the Conflict Resolution Department for the information you have provided. Once I have exhausted all instances of dialogue, of course.
Finally, I think it is very important that this issue remains open. Simply out of respect for the free expression of ideas and because, at the end of the day, anyone who is aware of my work in this sub-division will no doubt feel the need to express themselves. That is a healthy practice, and I think it is necessary to respect that if it happens.


Many people do not know how to handle openness and debate. It happens regularly that if you are keen to discuss and talk about matters you get excluded. Best of luck I feel for you.

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Juan, I found your last Facebook posting for VATSIM Bolivia and I have to say it is a bit rude to expose the organization this way. Maybe this was the provocation that people took offence in?

Dear VATSIM community.

As Director of Events & RRPP of VATSIM Bolivia, I am writing to you to communicate an important decision. After a careful analysis of the current situation, and given the lack of response from certain members of the VATSIM Bolivia Staff, who have the responsibility to address the problem of declining activity of the controllers and the low number of them active, I have taken the difficult decision to temporarily cancel the weekly event “Bolivia Thursdays”.

Unfortunately, the lack of commitment and collaboration from some staff members has hindered my efforts to find solutions and maintain a regular schedule of events. As Director of Events and Public Relations, my main goal is to provide a quality experience and promote active participation in our community. Unfortunately, what is offered at these events (FULL ATC Control over Bolivian airspace) is not possible to deliver.

In the absence of concrete actions by those responsible, I have no choice but to take this decision.

I deeply regret any inconvenience this cancellation may cause you and offer my sincere apologies. As always, I am committed to working hard to address this issue and find a viable solution. However, as Director of Events & RRPP, I do not have access to the tools to have full influence to resolve this issue on my own.

I assure you that any new developments in this situation will be duly communicated.

I thank you for your understanding and support at this difficult time. I am committed to re-establishing regular activity and events in VATSIM Bolivia as soon as possible, and I am confident that together we can overcome these challenges and strengthen our community.

Sincerely yours.

Juan Manuel Nitz Galán

It looks like you cancelled the event on your own without consultation of your staff team?

Something is odd here, I have to say.

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Sean, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

You are absolutely right in your point about openness and debate in groups, why that is the sad reality in this case.
I have experienced that in that particular group, the possibility to have open discussions and debate ideas was not, and is not welcome unless submission is shown to certain people. I find it regrettable that this exclusionary attitude prevails and is allowed in VATSIM.

In my case, I was unfortunately forced to lodge a complaint of segregation against VATSIM Bolivia staff members against me with the Director of the Americas Region about two or three weeks ago. Unfortunately, the complaint was poorly dealt with and underestimated, which shows a lack of consideration for this type of problem in VATSIM.

I have said before that I strongly believe in the importance of fostering an inclusive and respectful environment, where all voices can be heard and constructively debated. It is a pity that this is not the case for that particular group and, in my experience, for VATSUR in general.

I appreciate your understanding and really, I am not sorry for me, but for all the other people within the network who have experienced similar situations and have not said, or expressed. And for the members of VATSIM Bolivia, who must continue to suffer the neglect and little interest in the quality of the activity offered by members of the Staff, based, unfortunately in a personalism that should not be welcome, in my view.

Andreas, thanks for taking the time to look into some of this on your end, I really appreciate it.

Indeed, it is how I expressed it in the first two paragraphs of the statement. I don’t miss the truth there. Since I gave the other members of the staff more than one opportunity to decide that question together, and in an extended time frame to boot.

Logically, that brought debate, always within a framework of respect and understanding for the determination I had to make on my own. Moreover, because of the function I held, it was my duty to do so.

Many members of VATSIM Bolivia agreed with my decision to temporarily suspend the event, with comments such as “let’s see if with this, for once, they act” for example…

Clearly, there is something much more than strange about this. Personally, it is clear to me what has happened. Logically, because I was inside. But, to try to explain it as briefly as possible, I am being punished for having made that complaint for segregation (totally legitimate, and having the right to do so, for attitudes and behaviours that I had to face and endure), and for being, basically, the only member of that Staff in fulfilling my functions.

Still, this is not a decision to take lonely. If there is no consensus within the group of staff, further discussion is needed and consultation of the director of the VACC. A member of staff cannot publicly criticize the group, this is basic courtesy, you don’t do this!
I have been a VACC director in the distant past and had one of my team members done this, at least a very serious conversation would have been had and possibly a warning would have been issued. In case of repeated “behaviour” the team of the VACC would be consulted to consider further disciplinary action, up to dismissal from the position.

From the above I understand that there already was a rift within the staff of VACC Bolivia and this might have been the final straw that the group saw to remove you from your position. I will NOT judge whether this was justified or not.
You will not get on with that team in the future, so I suggest you look for a new home within VATSIM and wait for “better weather”.

It is the logical way of doing things within a Staff what you say. The problem comes when because of my nationality (I am Argentinean, and I was helping the Bolivian brothers) they simply don’t communicate with you, which is what I had to put up with myself. Clearly the lack of courtesy, cohesion, not having prejudices together with not giving the opportunity for integration has been theirs. I have tired of giving them opportunities to communicate, just as I am willing to communicate with you.
Precisely, and as the post that starts this thread says, I have not been given the right to reply, nor to defend myself, something that together with what I have told you about the segregation suffered by me is very unfair, clearly.
I don’t want you to judge or anything like that, although if you want to know from your side, just do some research (as you did when you found my Facebook post, and I am grateful for that) and you will know the truth. After all, my conscience is clear and I have nothing to hide.
Logically, I do not share the way of proceeding of this group of people, and even less of the VATSUR administration team. So I will look for (and have already done so), a region with a pristine environment, which reflects my values and principles.

The truth seems to be that they don’t want to work with you. There’s nothing that you can do about. You need to move on, unfortunately. That would be my advice: don’t get worked up about it.

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That was always the truth, of course. You are absolutely right about that. Except for “working”, the fact that someone has the title of Staff does not mean that he has performed the functions that the title says. One of the reasons why I was Staff, is that even without having title I performed many functions that corresponds to who has the title, many in VATSIM Bolivia are sure of it, and personally, I am comforted by that.

The only thing, in my particular case, what I can do is to make my case publicly known, simply because ignorance, in general, makes bad things, such as injustices, in any area of life, continue to happen.

Obviously, the change I am making, of region within VATSIM, even. It is to, personally, not have to deal with the disagreement and disappointment of what has happened to me.

Finally, and this is a personal thank you, the fact that you have lent yourself to the debate and invested some of your time in it, is proof enough for me, that there are people who administratively speaking do their job well. And thanks to that, I do not totally lose confidence in this network.

Let me tell you how much I appreciate it.